CMU Wall Construction Begins

Construction of the load bearing walls has begun.  If you walk past the Church you can clearly see outlines of the building as well as internal and external walls.

A significant cost savings was realized with the “concrete masonry unit” approach proposed by South Bay Construction in collaboration with our architect Vitae Associates and structural design team Structural Engineers, Inc.   The previous design featured a steel frame construction technique that required hundreds of steel components to be installed for the support structure.  The CMU approach, in concert with a few main beams and a simplified foundation (as described in the previous post “Footers in Place“), saved the Church hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To build these walls  “H” shaped cement blocks are placed on the foundation that contains “re-bar” reinforcements. The blocks are then stacked up, and high-pressure grout is added for stability.  Grout, according to one of our east coast technology sources, is simply sand and cement – either without stone or with a much smaller stone.  The pressure rating comes from the amount of cement in the mix.  The main difference between grout and concrete: concrete also contains 3/4″ stone to increase the shear strength while grout contains no stone or much smaller stone (in our case 3/8′ rather than 3/4″) to increase the strength.

The pictures below show the beginning of the CMU construction. This step includes building a 4′ high segment of the wall.  After inspections and further foundation work, the wall will then continue to grow taller.

Also check out the “parking lot views” which show progress over last few weeks.  They are HERE (or use tab above).

CMU Construction begins

 corner detail Sanctuary Back Wallview from pre-school entrance Tall back of house wall Narthex from pre-school